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Marianna Bacallao

Organizers and city leaders are still puzzling out why a job fair at the Anderson Conference Center in Macon recently saw an unexpectedly large turnout.

More than 3,500 job hunters stood in a line a mile long, and some continued to wait hours after the fair technically closed.  This all happened amidst reports of low unemployment rates for the county and state.


In Macon, A Mile-Long Line For Jobs

Jun 5, 2019
Marianna Bacallao

Over 3,500 job hunters waited in a mile-long line stretching down Eisenhower Parkway in Macon for a warehouse job fair at the Anderson Conference Center June 4. Some applicants left early after hearing that Amazon, the largest employer, was not hiring or conducting interviews on site.

Today "On Second Thought" explored Georgia's economic and political landscape. We checked in with "Political Rewind" host Bill Nigut to discuss Brian Kemp's plans as the new governor of Georgia.

We also heard from professors, journalists and policy makers about Georgia's Amazon HQ2 bid and why Atlanta ranks worst in the nation for income inequality.

Tony Webster / Flickr/CC

The details of Georgia's Amazon "HQ2" pitch were made public last week with the opening of a special legislative session at the state Capitol. Despite winning a spot among Amazon's top 20 contenders for the tech giant's second headquarters, Atlanta lost out in the end. The second headquarters — and the 50,000 jobs Amazon promised with it — will be split between Arlington, Virginia, and Queens in New York City.

Together, Georgia's state and local governments involved in the proposal offered Amazon more than $2 billion in publicly-funded incentives such as tax credits and infrastucture investments, matching what New York and Virginia together promised Amazon. Other municipalities, like Newark, New Jersey, and Montgomery County in Maryland, offered upward of $7 billion in tax incentives, subsidies and other incentives. So how did Atlanta, and other cities, lose to New York City and the Washington, D.C., area? 


(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)

On this edition of Political Rewind, Governor Deal makes a surprise announcement that he will suspend a controversial jet fuel tax long sought by Delta Air Lines. 


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While Atlanta remains on Amazon’s short list for its second headquarters, not everyone likes what the company brings with it. Currently, the ACLU and Amazon employees have demanded the company to stop marketing its facial recognition technology to law enforcement. Amazon calls the technology Rekognition. It detects and analyzes not only faces, but objects and entire scenes. Ayanna Howard, chairman of the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech and Ali Breland, tech/policy reporter at The Hill spoke about the biases in artificial intelligence and privacy concerns with technology.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

 

Macon’s Target store is closed. When Target announced it was closing a dozen stores across the country, people in Macon were disappointed to learn the Presidential Parkway store on the was on the list.

If there was an upshot, it was the going out of business sale. That’s how Robert and Mikieoel Revels loaded up with the children’s clothes they had when they left the store a few weeks before it closed with their son Noah. Though they were happy for the bargains, Robert Revels said he wasn’t happy to lose the store.

  • Amazon To Compete With UPS For Package Delivery Business
  • Obama-backed Group Targeting Georgia Elections
  • New Religious Liberties Measure Proposed For Adoption Agencies

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

On this edition of Political Rewind guest hosted by Rickey Bevington, we break down the compromise between Republicans and Democrats to end the government shutdown, and the anger that many Democrats are expressing towards Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for his negotiations with Mitch McConnell.  We’re also talking about how the shutdown has impacted Georgia and how things could be worse for the state if another shutdown happens in three weeks.  Also, Atlanta has made the shortlist for Amazon’s second headquarters, but what will

The ongoing Atlanta bribery scandal brought a sentencing last week. Adam Smith, former chief procurement officer for Atlanta, got more than two years in jail. Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Scott Trubey has been following the bribery scandal, and he joins us in the studio.

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

On this edition of Political Rewind, 6th District Congresswoman Karen Handel is tapped to help other GOP candidates for congress on how to run for office in the anti-Trump atmosphere, but the AJC’s Jim Galloway says Governor Nathan Deal may be the best model for Republicans on how to win. 

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Georgia leaders are pulling out all the stops in hopes Amazon will deliver its prime second headquarters to the Atlanta area.

Need Information About State Government? Ask Alexa

Dec 1, 2017
Jeff Chiu / AP Photo/File

Maybe there’s a voice-activated speaker like Amazon Echo or Google Home on your holiday shopping list. They’re handy for listening to music or setting alarms. The state of Georgia is connecting its website to the Echo’s Alexa operating system.

Atlanta is among many American cities making an aggressive bid for Amazon’s second headquarters. The Georgia city of Stonecrest even offered to de-annex some land and name it Amazon. The company’s first HQ is in Seattle, Washington. And Seattle has some wisdom to share with other cities who might want to attract the retail giant. A new podcast is called “Prime(d): What Happens When Amazon Comes to Your Town?” It’s produced by KUOW, Puget Sound Public Radio. Reporter Joshua McNichols joins us.

Tony Webster / Flickr/CC

Amazon is opening its fifth fulfillment center in Georgia. Five hundred people will work at the facility in Macon. And Amazon will hire another 500 for the busy holiday shopping season

The deal, dubbed “Project Unicorn,” was rumored for months. But Macon Mayor Robert Reichert said it took a $1.5 million grant from the governor’s office for road improvements to seal it. He says Macon is a popular spot for distribution centers.

On a wall in Greg LeRoy's office is a frame with a custom-engraved wrench and a photo of workers in front of the Diamond Tool and Horseshoe factory in Duluth, Minn. It's from his days helping unions fight plant closings — when he first started digging into the convoluted financial relationship of corporations and local governments.

These days, LeRoy is the guy to call if you want to know about corporate subsidies. Lately, his phone has been ringing about one company in particular: Amazon.

An official from Toronto has called Amazon's search for the second headquarters "the Olympics of the corporate world."

It's a unique situation of its kind and scale. Typically, cities and states vie for factories or offices behind the scenes. This time, Amazon's public solicitation of bids from essentially all major metropolitan areas in North America has prompted reporters and analysts across the continent to run their own odds on potential winners.

What's at stake?